Virtual Dragon’s Announce their Winners

Tilhill hosted the latest session of ‘Dragon’s Den’part of the ‘Unlocking Potential’ Management Development Programme facilitated by Explore Training, on 19th June 2020.  

The ‘Unlocking Potential’ programme is designed specifically to stretch and harness the talent and potential within Tilhill and help everyone focus on their strategic aspirations for the future. It was launched initially in November 2008. 

Whilst the Dragon’s Den programme would normally take place face-to face, the restrictions resulting from Covid-19 meant the event has been adapted to take place online. 

The Unlocking Potential course takes place over a twoyear period covering three modules and concludes in a ‘Dragons Den’ style experience where the delegates pitch their business idea to a panel of ‘Dragons’. The ideas are then carefully considered by the panel and a winner is chosen 

The Dragon’s (judges) took the form of Gavin AdkinsTilhill’s Managing Director, Peter Whitfield, Business Development Director and Stuart Pearson, Regional Manager for North & Central England.  They were joined by Tony Lockey, BSW Group Learning and Development Manager and Explore Training coaches Ian Redmond and Damian Palin. 

We are delighted to be able to announce the Dragon’s choices as this year’s winners: 


Gary Waters, Tilhill Assistant Forest Manager, Central Borders for his idea; ‘Woodland Creation Toolbox’ 

Runner Up:  

Jonathan Edge, Supply Chain Controller for his presentation on Building up a register of tender results’. 

Second Runner Up:  

Rob Baker, Assistant Forest ManagerNorth Highland for his presentation: ‘Inter-great – Collaborative working across the group.’ 

Winner Gary Waters took home the biggest dragon trophy of them all. Gary said: The Unlocking Potential Training Programme has been an incredibly engaging course which I am glad to of had the chance to take part in. The skills and knowledge I’ve obtained have, with no doubt, enhanced my ability to manage the challenges experienced within my role as an Assistant Forest Manager.  I am thankful for our MD Gavin Adkins and other senior staff for engaging with the course, which to me expressed Tilhill’s commitment to investing in its staff. 

I’m very proud to receive First Prize for my proposed development of a mapping toolbox designed to assist Tilhill in its woodland creation provision, a growing part of the forestry industry of which Tilhill’s wealth of experience is well placed to facilitate. 

The programme offers great opportunities to new recruits like myself to work with colleagues across the group and to present new ideas to help in shaping the company’s future. 

Peter Whitfield Business Development Director said: “A great Dragons’ Den session and the first virtual one we have held. Really inspiring and thought provoking presentations from all participants, ranging from the commercial to the cultural aspects of our business.  

Thanks to Ian and Damian from Explore for once again coaching and motivating the participants in such a great way. My last Dragons’ Den, but something I have been very proud to have been part of and to have championed for Tilhill.” 

Gavin Adkins, Managing Director said: “I thoroughly enjoyed the inspiring presentations from all our Dragon’s Den participants, with three particularly thought-provoking submissions from our winners.  The range of ideas and the confidence with which they were delivered demonstrate qualities which I am certain will bring them continued success in their ongoing career with the BSW Group.”